Cement flooring

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by carladababe, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. carladababe

    carladababe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 25, 2010
    Dixon, Missouri
    Hello,
    I am eagerly awaiting for my new coop to arrive. It's 8'x16', one half is coop and then other half is closed pen. I plan on putting it on a large cement foundation that is approx 40-50' away from the house in my backyard, (I have a 96 acre backyard.) My question is, is it ok to have the pen half on top of cement or should we position the pen over the grass/dirt for more natural walking area for the chickens? We do plan on free ranging when the weather is warmer. Also please, anybody think that 10 layers in that huge coop is too close to the house and will create too much odor? Thankyou, Carla
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    It's 8'x16', one half is coop and then other half is closed pen.<snip>anybody think that 10 layers in that huge coop is too close to the house and will create too much odor?

    That is a total of 12.8 sq ft per chicken (half indoors half outdoors)... it is certainly not overly generous but is no less than a lot of people use and seem adequately satisfied with. (It is equivalent to something like 3 sq ft indoors plus 10 sq ft outdoors per hen, or 5 plus 8). I wouldn't do it myself (I give mine more space than that *indoors*, PLUS their run) but as long as your main concern is just avoiding excessive likelihood of cannibalism then it may work fine for you. Any chance you could build additional run space for them? That would be best.

    Odor is more a matter of how you manage the coop (and what the ground is like in the run) than space per se, although obviously the more space they have outdoors the less of a problem there is with odor and flies. A droppings board under the roost, cleaned every day, will greatly help in cleanliness.

    I plan on putting it on a large cement foundation that is approx 40-50' away from the house in my backyard,<snip>is it ok to have the pen half on top of cement or should we position the pen over the grass/dirt for more natural walking area for the chickens? We do plan on free ranging when the weather is warmer.

    There are actually a couple of different considerations here so please bear with me when I do not give an immediate yes or no answer LOL

    It is GOOD to have the indoor part of the coop on slab, because assuming the slab is intact (not cracked), it don't get any more predatorproof than that! Just use lots of bedding in there.

    On the other hand it can be a PROBLEM to have the slab be bigger than the coop, because unless you go to considerable lengths to try to prevent it (which still may or may not 100% work) you will tend to get rainwater tracking in underneath the coop walls, from where it fell and pooled on the slab outside. You will need to get stuff from the lumberyard to put under the coop sill to try to seal it as best you can, and as I say, it is not a guarantee. (I am assuming that the coop is on the ground... if it is raised up on legs, then this is not an issue of course)

    As far as the run is concerned, it is GOOD to have the part of the run right around the coop be on slab (with the above caveat about rainwater tracking in when the slab exceeds the coop's size) because that's the part that'll get muddiest if it's on dirt. So, aside from the rainwater getting into your coop issue, having a bit of concrete around the popdoor is a good thing IMO.

    However you would definitely want AT LEAST half the run to be off the slab if at all possible (make sure you then digproof the run fencing). You can *have* your whole run on slab if you *must* (some of my runs are, as I have no choice in the matter) but then you get into having to keep a good thickness of stuff on them and it will get skanky and have to be replaced periodically and they can't scratch or dustbathe as well and so forth and so on. So, it's to be avoided if at all possible; I would say that definitely having a buncha the run beyond the slab is a good idea (and, as mentioned, if you can extend the run to be larger, perhaps by building something yourself, that would be real good).

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  3. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

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    Dec 1, 2010
    Owasso, Oklahoma
    Welcome to BYC!

    If you were to put your coop on the ground (grass and dirt) it would be much better, concrete gets very cold and it could freeze their feet. Plus they can dig around for food and bugs. They really like dust dirt baths.

    My 53 chickens are in a coop about 80ft to the ESE. There is not a bad odor really. I like it close because I can see and hear what is happening down there. Coyotes have been a problem a few times. Its good to have it close for walking also!

    -Nate
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Note that concrete is not a problem for feet PROVIDED THAT you keep a good depth of bedding or etc on it.

    Pat
     
  5. imusa76

    imusa76 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 16, 2010
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    my run has a cement base, to keep rodents out, but I put about 2-3" of dirt inside so they can dig and be happy, then once wvery couple of months, I remove some dirt and place new dirt in there, to keep the oder down.
    this seams to work so far.
     

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